Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for March, 2018

We have a winner!

…my super awesome big girl won her first merit award today.

It was final assembly (of this term) today, and she was awarded a merit pencil for quick problem solving in maths and excellent sentence construction in her storybook. I’m a proud mama! And she is just beaming!

Saints and pharisees

…life is all about contrasts, isn’t it. In the last few days, I have seen pharisees preaching and praying loudly to garner attention; I have seen saints going quietly about their work, doing so much more in the name of christianity than others.

The funeral for our friend happened on Friday, it was beautiful until a couple were invited up to pray for her parents, they took this as their opportunity to highjack the funeral for their own purposes. In a TV styled presentation, they invited members of the congregation to come up to pray for Jesus in their heart, saying little about the beautiful girl and her grief stricken family. It was in such bad taste – the minister conducting the funeral left the stage (and why am I saying stage in relation to a church, anyway?) and more than 100 people walked out of the church. Pharisees, driving the faithful away from their god.

And then in the quiet of the night, I know their are saintly souls, working hard, with little to no recognition to ease other’s suffering. Not thinking of themselves, not doing things for any great reward, not showing off loudly – just quietly doing holy work.

I’m blessed to know some saints, and truly aggrieved that I encounter these pharisees.

Challenging faith

… the events of the last 3 days have rocked me. I am finding it so hard to reconcile this with any form of justice, mercy or wisdom. How was snuffing this candle out a good thing? How is allowing a parent to loose their only child just? Where is the wisdom in this great ‘decision’? Awful things happen – things that really rock my faith in a merciful God. I cannot seek comfort there, because I see only the agony of this event.

I am angry about the things I saw unfold, I am furious with this god of ‘mercy’. I am angry the the hypocrites who came and prayed loudly on the street corner.

But mostly I am just so damn sad – sad to loose a friend, terrified for her parents and gran, and sad that I can find no comfort in the god I used to know.


….flying free. Today she flew free.

This thing called life is brutal.

Cruel, crazy

…I have spent the better part of the weekend at the hospital, despite not being on call. And it’s been a horrifying experience.

We have dear family friends – Aunty S and my dad grew up together, as adults she became best friends with my mom; they lived down the road from us. Uncle P, her husband became my dad’s best friend, and they watched the boys and I grow up, as we watched her children grow up too.

SJK, Aunty S’s granddaughter is her daughter’s only child. A beautiful, blonde, vivacious girl. I always call her my city’s Charlize. And tonight she lies in ICU, brain dead after a catastrophic brain haemorrhage.

A family devastated. A school reeling (she taught Grade 5 at the local boys school). Friends horrified. And yet, they are all here, waiting for the inevitable.

There is no hand of mercy here. There is nothing right about this situation.

My beautiful country

…I may go off on a bit of a rant here, bear with me.

My beautiful South Africa – so incredible, so awe-inspiring and so damn frustrating. The highs of the last few months of the political landscape are now being followed by the predicted lows. Corruption is as it always has been (and I really do mean always, even predating 1990), yet somehow, in a society filled with indignant outrage and loud opinions, its apparently worse. The land debate has reared its head, and the panic that is ensuing is beyond the pale. And I’m just not sure where someone like me fits in anymore.

I am a 5th generation South African, in fact, the 5th generation to be born in the Transkei. I know nothing else, but my beautiful land. I have no claims on a land across the seas, and I have no desire to reside anywhere else, but here. I am invested in my community, striving hard to make a difference. (I have in fact, just returned from my session at the local state hospital, and I really do love my time there) And yet, somehow, there are those who really do try to insist to me – on both sides of the political fence – that I don’t matter and am unwanted. They want to make me so uncomfortable that I change my attitude. But what is their agenda, really?

Is it to grow a productive society, cashing in on the skills we have here, utilising our incredible people resources? It is to leave me a nervous dithering wreck, to afraid to close my eyes at night, lest a criminal comes to murder me in my bed and move into my house? It is to make me feel like a foreigner in my own land? Shouldn’t we rather accept we live in a society which is haunted by the very real ghost of apartheid and what it did? Should we not rather stop trying to reinvent the wheel and rather keep working towards a society where our children are afforded equal opportunities?

I am really tired of the narrative that I do not belong, that I do not have a valuable contribution to make, that I am an unwanted interloper. We really have lost the plot.

I am a South African who loves this beautiful land, despite it’s cruel craziness (apologies to Johnny Clegg), who is home.

Balancing act

… I really hope I get it right, and that I don’t turn into the clown act – the one where people watch, point and laugh. I’ve been on this balance beam for so long now, and it just seems to get thinner and thinner. Every know and again I manage to put some work into the beam to make it thick and strong again, but before I know there are these stressors whittling away at it again, making it thin again.